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News/Business. (2011) Bullying within schools over sexual orientation; four dead prostitutes on Long island beach; a refuge for poached monkeys in Costa Rica. (CC)

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Us 6, Carol 3, Peggy 3, At&t 3, Costa Rica 3, Glucerna 2, Volkswagen 2, San Francisco 2, Minnesota 1, Usa 1, Fag 1, Jaguars 1, Steve 1, Dennis Carlson 1, Jefferson Feitech 1, Eduardo 1, Samantha Johnson 1, Carlson 1, Major Nutrition 1, Puma 1,
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  CNN    CNN Presents    News/Business.  (2011) Bullying within schools over sexual  
   orientation; four dead prostitutes on Long island beach; a...  

    July 30, 2011
    8:32 - 9:00pm PDT  

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>> reporter: it's 9:00 on a typical school night. >> i just got a text from a young lady. >> reporter: an anoka middle school teacher jefferson feitech is in crisis mode. >> it looks like she's got a friend who is in crisis and thinking about suicide. >> just now. >> just now. yeah. >> how often does this happen? >> it's about once a week. sometimes more. >> reporter: it turns out to be just one scare of many. >> just this morning i had another kid hospitalized. last week i had another kid hospitalized. >> for what? >> for getting so overwhelmed that suicide seems the only way out. >> feitech openly gay and he's the adviser for his school's
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gay-straight alliance. he says suicidal feelings are common among gay youth and those questioning their sexuality. in fact, studies since the 1990s consistently show gay and lesbian youth having suicide attempt rates at least twice that of their heterosexual peers. his school district anoka hennepin has been hard-hit. the question is -- what role does school climate really play. >> we need an answer to this question. >> reporter: this is the only minnesota school district we could find with a curriculum policy that bars teachers from taking a position on homosexuality and says such matters are best addressed outside of school. it's become known as the neutrality policy and some teachers say it's part of the problem. >> because there's so much we can't do and say to help create a more accepting and affirming and welcoming environment that would eliminate some of that bullying in the first place. >> it is a censorship policy. it is censorship. there's nothing neutral about taking the side of the
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oppressor. >> it seems like you're saying this is contributing to leading these kids to the brink. >> it is contributing to creating a hostile, toxic environment. >> reporter: but superintendent dennis carlson says the district has a comprehensive bullying policy and has piloted a bullying tip line. he says neutrality policy is a reasonable response to a divided community. >> it is a diverse community and what i try to do as superintendent is walk down the middle of the road. >> if they're going to hell, i'm going with them. >> reporter: a middle of the road approach that's pitting parents against parents. >> a policy -- >> you're out of line. >> you're out of line, too, sir. >> i mean, this idea of check your identity at the door, would you tolerate that? >> we are not advocating that we teach homosexuality, that we teach anything other than tolerance. >> they don't need to be promoting a particular point of view on that. parents have a right to raise their children the way they want
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to and the school district doesn't need to be sitting there telling kids your parents are wrong. >> i know you're in support of the sexual orientation policy and i'm just hoping you'll tell me why. some local conservative parents have banded together forming the parents' action league. we tried multiple times to talk to them. would you mind taking a minute -- >> no. no further comment. >> reporter: on their website they push for parents' rights and for schools to focus on core academics. in a recent letter to the local newspaper, one active community member wrote -- it is irresponsible for educators to promote the "it's okay to be gay" message to students when homosexuality is such a high-risk behavior. now the fight has gone federal. cnn has confirmed that the departments of justice and education are investigating the district. after receiving a complaint regarding allegations of harassment and discrimination based on sex. this policy sends kids the
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message that who they are is not okay. >> reporter: an advocacy group, the southern poverty law center, and the national center for lesbian rights have filed a lawsuit challenging the neutrality policy. the splc was present for cnn interviews involving its clients. in response to the lawsuit, the district says they are confident that they are complying with the law, and that the policies, practice, and procedures in place ensure the safety of the students. the district also says it takes "strong exception" to the outrageous media statements the district is not concerned about the safety of its students. and it has asked the advocacy groups to help train its staff in supporting gay students. but superintendent carlson stands by the neutrality policy. still, he knows there's a problem. >> we need students to speak up and say, "i am being bullied." we know that gay students in our district on a daily basis
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struggle with bullying and harassment. >> reporter: if you doubt that, just listen to these kids from anoka middle school's gay-straight alliance. many aren't gay. >> since gay's in the name of the club, it's like oh, you're automatically that. not everyone who goes there is. >> reporter: but just being in the club can make them a target. raise your hand if you've been bullied in the last month. last week? what about today? how does hearing these words, you're gay, you're a fag, you're different, how does this make you guys feel? >> every day it gets a little bit deeper and deeper around deeper. it's like a wound that won't heal. >> why did you decide to join the gay-straight alliance? >> it is just a safe place to be where no one will judge you for who you are. >> reporter: the battle over the neutrality policy is the adult's fight.
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the kids just want to be safe and they don't want any more of their friends like samantha johnson to die. >> she was sick of everything. >> sick of what? >> the bullying. coming up -- the hazards of preserving life in the wild. >> what's going on here? [ male announcer ] get ready for the left lane. the volkswagen autobahn for all event is back. right now, get a great deal on new volkswagen models, including the jetta, awarded a top safety pick by the iihs. that's the power of german engineering. hurry in and lease the jetta s for just $179 a month. ♪ visit vwdealer.com today.
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the illegal wildlife trade is a $10 billion a year business. wild animals torn from nature, killed for food, or captured live, confined, chained, sold as exotic pets. i wanted to know what happens when you rip an animal out of paradise and turn it into a play thing and what it takes to put things right. what's going on here? so we headed out into the wild.
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to truly appreciate why wild animals belong in the wilderness, we have to go there. so we went to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world -- the costa rican rain forest. we're flying down here to this remote area. we left the big city heading for the crown jewel of costa rica's parks system. we're here in the center of a small little gold mining town. it is also the gateway into a national park. in order to get in there you've got to hike for a couple days or you can do what we're doing and we're taking the aero taxi. this is the shortest landing strip in all of costa rica. they literally clear-cut the rain forest. if we don't make it, the plane goes into the ocean. we packed up all of our gear and our guide into a tiny single engine plane and held on tight. we're flying over.
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this is one of the most biologically intense places on earth. that had to be the coolest landing. home to the largest and only primary low-land rain forest in the world, 140 different animal species, many endangered. professor eduardo of the national university of koes tas rick ca is a top expert in jungle ecology and is one hell of a guide. >> he said an ocelot just passed through the trail. in just 24 hours, we saw more than most park visitors see in a week. rugged, remote, stunningly beautiful inside the forest, and out. so this is the river where it meets the ocean. during high tide, which is right
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now, bull sharks sometimes up to 12 feet long come through here and feed. there's also crocodiles swimming through the waters just to cross this area would be risking your life. >> eduardo spotted a spider monkey right up in this tree. >> why do you shake the leaves. >> i challenge them and they are going to come to fight with me. >> whoa. >> he just took this and threw it out of the tree at us. he's a mean little guy. why would he throw a stick at us? >> we're standing right in the middle of a pack of peckories.
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this is the main resource for pumas, jaguars and all the cats in the forest. people living nearby the forest come and hunt these because they taste really good. we're heading into the jungle now. obviously the sun's down and at night, a whole different slew of creatures comes out. we're just about 20 feet away from this giant puma. >> we can get a little bit closer. >> can i get closer? >> you don't want to disturb him because he can get aggressive. >> it's incredible to be this close to such a magnificent animal in the wild. >> it's beautiful. he's in really good condition. >> he's getting up. what does that mean? >> nothing. >> is he coming towards us?
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>> no problem. okay, it's beautiful. gorgeous. >> don't worry. >> even for me it's not so open to see something like that. >> you've been doing this for 20 years. >> exactly. it's an amazing experience. >> definitely an dren lynn rush. >> how does it make you feel when you see people that he have animals that you find in the rain forest as pets? >> that is a big problem. it's really nice to have baby monkey. when they grow, they become wild. they have instincts. they can bite people. it's the same with other animals. a wild animal is a wild animal always. they are not good pets. you can see a beautiful sunset with the forest. what else can you ask what else? it's beautiful. i feel god here. can you feel it?
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>> we are not alone in this life. >> it's beautiful and it's isolated. to wildlife traffickers, this beauty equals profit. but as we're about to see, help is just a boat ride away. >> i'm a certified jungle woman. >> a woman of the jungle, huh? >> she has a single mission. rescue and return the animals to the wild whatever the cost. >> oh, yeah, she's got bite marks all over here. you've got the scars to problem what you did. >> these are the badges of courage i wear. >> and by the end of our journey, we had badges, too. >> oh, what do you call these, monkey tattoo snsz. >> this is a sanctuary tattoo. that's why i like glucerna shakes. they have slowly digestible carbs to help minimize blood sugar spikes, which can help lower a1c. [ male announcer ] glucerna. helping people with diabetes find balance.
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as dawn breaks over costa rica, a small town on the west coast, you can hear the eerie sound of a passing troupe of howler monkeys. animal traffickers take anything from macaws to monkeys, from the
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rain forests of central america, and sell them to the highest bidder at dozens of auctions held across the united states. they often become victims of abuse and neglect. caged, chained, tranquilized, or sometimes beaten into submission. i'm a certified jungle woman! woo! those who are lucky enough to be rescued are given to carol cruise. you've got bite marks all over here. you've got the scars to prove what you do. >> these are the banls of courage that i wear. >> do visitors ever get chomped by monkeys? >> on occasion if they don't do what i tell them to do. >> reporter: 15 years ago, she sold everything she had, packed her bags and left san francisco and moved to costa rica. >> got a cookie wookie. cruz runs the sanctuary which is a wildlife rescue center that borders a national park. what makes her rescue center unique, it's the only one i've
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ever seen where the people live in cages and animals roam free, but freedom means the crew and i are at the mercy of the monkeys. meet sweetie. when she was just 4 days old, poachers shot her mother for meat, ripping sweetie off her dead mother's back, throwing her into the forest leaving her to die. and because of her past, sweetie is not so sweet. cruz says she especially dislikes men. >> she definitely rules. every time we enter the kiln, we have to run. ♪ >> humans live in cages. monkeys run free. ♪ >> this is where i do all of my work.
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home sweet home. >> all the monkeys sleep right next to mama. >> yeah. life is good in the cage. >> why did you decide on that philosophy for you and your volunteers to be living in cages and the animals to be roaming free? >> i think we are working with an incredibly intelligent species here, primates, and if you acclimate them to life in a cage, i don't think they're as apt to leave. they're not as courageous. they have to break that bond of what they've lived in for three to four years. little one over here was confiscated from a hotel from tourists. came to us almost half dead. he was so dehydrated. >> come here, little guy. hello. oh, he's kissing me. these guys are small but they're some of the loudest mammals on earth. when you hear them in the forest, it is so creepy. all kinds of creatures live here. most of all, carol's favorite,
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monkeys. these capuchins have to be caged because of their aggression. >> they are true victims of the pet trade. i will enter this cage only with the idea that i'm the sacrificial lamb. carol tells us she can't go into the cage because she's the alpha monkey in this jungle and they would try to knock her off. they're considered the third smartest land mammal on earth. we went into the cage so that makes us the fourth. >> these are very aggressive monkeys. they're constantly moving around. which is one of the reasons they shouldn't be kept as pets. okay, what's going on here? >> i don't know. i'm getting out of here. >> the last guy that came through here had to get 13 stitches. they call it a sanctuary tattoo. remember sweetie? she's the spider monkey with a
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grudge against men. one day she'll leave the sanctuary and join a wild troupe, but today we get a first-hand look at how quickly a tame monkey can get dangerous. >> walk away. walk away. see, she doesn't hate men. >> reporter: producer steve was holding one of the monkeys and he slipped and she got scared and bit him on the head. so now he's got -- >> this is a sanctuary tattoo. >> sanctuary tattoo. does this kind of show why -- people think they can just keep these monkeys as pets. >> why do you think it's called wildlife? i've been bitten by almost every species here at the sanctuary. it just goes with the job. >> oh, look! she got a leaf.
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oh, what a good monkey. he's still a little sad. he hasn't quite gotten over the loss of his mother yet. >> are these like your adopted children? >> they are. and it is a bittersweet moment when they leave but if you ever witness releasing an animal back to the wild, it is such a euphoric feeling that it gives you the energy and the strength through all those losses, through all that heartache to continue because it is such an incredibly good feeling. when lulu, our 3-year-old monkey gave birth, baby was still wet and she brought him down for me to see. that just about took me to my knees. >> reporter: bittersweet is a good word to describe what carol cruz does. she hopes the animals she cares for so much will leave her. but she knows because of the damage people do to animals, there will unfortunately always be more.
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on the next "cnn presents"